St. Louis police Chief John Hayden tells reporters about an early morning, police-involved shooting.
St. Louis police are investigating a early-morning shootout between off-duty officers and another customer at a Tower Grove South sports bar.
The chaotic confrontation happened about 1:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Bomber O'Brien's, 4621 Beck Avenue. Police Chief John Hayden told reporters during a news conference that four of his officers, all off duty, were hanging out at the bar, eating and drinking.
A 32-year-old officer got into a confrontation with a 22-year-old bar patron, which led to gunfire in the parking lot, Hayden said.
"When we arrived there were two persons shot," the chief said. "One was an off-duty officer and another was the person who turned out to be the suspect."
Off-duty police and a bar patron were involved in a shootout outside Bomber O'Brien's in Tower Grove South.
Hayden said the 22-year-old fired first, hitting the officer in the wrist and shoulder. A fellow officer, who is 25, returned fire and hit the bar patron in the legs and upper shoulder, according to the chief.
The wounded officer and 22-year-old were both in stable condition at the hospital this morning. Hayden said police recovered a gun used by the 22-year-old from the shooting scene. The officer's gun is believed to have been his service weapon.
The chief said police are still investigating what led to the violent confrontation, but he expects 22-year-old to be charged with assault. Fox 2 News spoke to the 22-year-old's father
early this morning outside the bar. Frank Demanuele Jr. told the station his son had been celebrating his birthday with two friends.
The trio later went outside, and two of the friends left while the 22-year-old was still in his van in the parking lot. They later got a call that shots had been fired.
The father said his son had gotten into it a week before with an off-duty officer at the bar over some spilled drinks.
"They had an altercation, and the off-duty officer wanted to fight with him," Demanuele told Fox 2. "When he found out it was an off-duty police officer, they told him they didn't want no problems and everything else. And we don't know if this is linked in to what's going on up here or what's going on."
Hayden said police are still investigating what led up to the shooting. Asked about the department's policies regarding officers drinking while armed, he said "The policy is about drinking responsibly, whether you're armed or not."
The shooting is being investigated by the department's Force Investigation Unit, and all four officers who were at the bar have been placed on leave in keeping with the department's standard protocol.
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